Snow make-up days “sleigh”ted for March 31 through April 4

Nine “snow” days and counting…

By Shane Carver

Indiana Board of Education has said school districts across the state do not have to make up days missed on January 6 and 7 if they apply for a waiver and are approved. The Department of Education had received close to 300 requests for waivers as of Friday, January 10, according to DOE spokesman Dan Altman.

“We applied and the state approved our waiver,” assistant superintendent Bill Briscoe said. “The waiver was initiated by the Indiana Department of Education because of the unusual conditions across the state on January 6-7.”

Nine days, seven of which must be made up, students were not seated in a classroom. Is more time in a classroom actually more education? Will making up days be beneficial?
Snow“It can’t hurt [students],” social studies teacher Mrs. Ashley Manger said. “Every opportunity to be seated in classroom is an opportunity to learn.”

The United States ranks 17 in education performance and 24 in high school literacy, according to the Program for International Student Assessment.

Americans get more daily instructional time (time spent in a classroom) than many other countries, averaging out to 5.6 hours a day during the school week, whereas other countries get as little as 3.6 hours. However, Americans have fewer days spent in school during the year – averaging to 179 days. Many other countries such as Japan and Taiwan spend, on average, 220 days a year in school according to The National Center for Educational Statistics.

“The waiver covers extreme, unsafe conditions like subzero temperatures,” Mrs. Manger said. “Two days missed here and there, I don’t think it has as serious an impact; it’s not that difficult to make that up. It would be different to ask a teacher to make-up for an extended period of time.”

Making up seven days, versus the massive amount of days missed when tornados devastated Henryville and ruined schools in March of 2012, is “less of a disruption to the learning process,” according to Mrs. Manger.

As it stands now, one of the seven mandatory days has already been made up. The other six, however, will be made up during the second week of spring break, Monday, March 31 through Friday, April 4. Scheduled snow days during the 2013-2014 school year have been used. From now on, any snow days will be made up any days after Memorial Day.

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